Sonoma County property taxes set to rise

Most Sonoma County property owners will receive higher property tax bills this month, and they have plenty of company statewide, according to state and local reports.

The total value of Sonoma County's 182,000 tax-assessed properties is $67.4 billion, up 3.3 percent from last year, the state Board of Equalization said.

That uptick is lower than the 4.3 percent statewide increase in assessed property values, and near the midpoint for the 58 counties. Twenty six report larger increases, 29 have lower increases and two (San Diego and Glenn) match Sonoma's 3.3 percent increase.

Changes from last year ranged from an 8.3 percent increase in booming Santa Clara County to a 4.1 percent decline in rural Inyo County.

Santa Clara, home of the tech-enriched Silicon Valley, has the second highest median household income at $84,990, nearly twice the $44,090 in rural, sparsely populated Inyo.

The other six counties reporting property value declines are Lassen (-2.9 percent), Del Norte (-2.8), Sierra (-1.1), Lake (-0.7), Plumas (-0.5) and Mono (-0.4). All but Mono County, at $53,973, have median household incomes below $50,000.

Mendocino County assessment increased 1.3 percent, Napa was up 5.4 percent and Marin 3.7 percent.

Assessed values ranged from $1.1 trillion in Los Angeles (up 4.6 percent) to a mere $500 million in Sierra County. California's total assessment exceeds $4.5 trillion.

San Francisco Bay Area values increased 5.5 percent, fueled by the surge in Santa Clara because of ownership changes in ownership and new construction, the Board of Equalization said.

Santa Clara is a "bellwether" for the region, Rousseau said, noting that property values there generally rebound faster from a slump.

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